Arata Isozaki

(Ōita, Japan, 1931)

Arata Isozaki was born in Ōita, Island of Kyushu, Japan in 1931 prior to the onset of World War II. He was 14 years old when Hiroshima and Nagasaki were bombed. He graduated from the Department of Architecture in the Faculty of Engineering at the University of Tokyo in 1954, and began his career with an apprenticeship under the guidance of Kenzo Tange. He established Arata Isozaki & Associates in 1963, after the Allied occupation when Japan had regained its sovereignty and was seeking physical rebuilding amidst political, economic and cultural uncertainty from the decimation of WWII. His work began locally, with many buildings in his hometown and Fukuoka, and quickly expanded to Gunma, Osaka and Tokyo. Isozaki demonstrated a worldwide vision that was ahead of his time and facilitated a dialogue between East and West. He emerged as an international leader in architecture in the 1980s, with numerous overseas commission. Six decades of his work include philosophy, visual art, design, music, films, and plays, alongside his iconic buildings. Solo exhibitions featuring the work of Isozaki have included Arata Isozaki: Architecture 1960-1990 at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles and Tokyo Station Gallery; Arata Isozaki: Works in Architecture at the Brooklyn Museum, New York, The Netherlands Architecture Institute, Rotterdam, The National British Architecture Institute, London; Arata Isozaki – Electric Labyrinth at Castello di Rivoli, Museo d’Arte Contemporanea, Turin and Serralves Museum of Contemporary Art, Porto; and Arata Isozaki UNBUILT at the Central Academy of Fine Arts, Beijing, Shanghai Urban Planning Exhibition Centre, and Guangdong Museum of Art, Guangzhou. He is the recipient of L’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres (1997), RIBA Gold Medal for architecture (1986), Leone d’Oro, Japanese Pavilion at Venice Architectural Biennale, (1996), Ordine al Merito della Repubblica Italiana (2007). He was an honorary member of the Royal Academy of Arts (1994) and the American Academy of Arts and Letters (1998), and a member of the Japan Arts Academy (2017).
Isozaki has served as a visiting professor at several U.S. universities including Columbia University, New York; Harvard University, Cambridge, MA and Yale University, New Haven, CT. He is based in Okinawa with offices operating in Japan, China, Italy and Spain